Thursday, August 26, 2010

Canadian Political Party Logos

So I find myself on Election Canada's website, and I discover that there are 18 parties registered federally. There's a single page with details about each of them, including logos. I loke logos. I like politics. I found myself admiring and detesting them in equal measure... well, I wish I could say that, but we've got a lot of ugly party logos up here. Ah well. Let's get this party started... God, I wish I hadn't just said that.

ANIMAL ALLIANCE ENVIRONMENT VOTERS PARTY OF CANADA: This unwieldy title comes first alphabetically. With more words in its title than candidates in its organisation, it seems a bit confused by itself. We get a bluish maple leaf (God are we going to see a lot of maple leaves) with a bingo card of animals, I think, and an X in a circle in the centre. Representing the sole vote they got last time round.

BLOC QUÉBÉCOIS: The Bloc come next alphabetically, with a trusty logo that's been kicking around for years. It's more clever than it is aesthetically appealing, with a stylised fleur-de-lys evoking the letters B and Q. All in that Québécois light-blue colour. But it's kinda ugly, isn't it? The base of the B is softer than it was in the 90s. As is the party.

CANADIAN ACTION PARTY: This nothing of a logo was almost going to be okay, with an Impact-like font turning the party's acronym in both languages into the red bars on a Canadian flag. But it's that tiny little "action" written in top of the maple leaf that turns it from bland to hokey.

CHRISTIAN HERITAGE PARTY: Canada's longest-lasting scary-party, the CHP have spent years in the netherworld between 'fringe party' and 'minor party'. And there they do dwell, with a strangely harsh logo looking like a sports-equipment company. Doesn't seem overly Christian, mind you. But what was I expecting, a cross?

COMMUNIST PARTY OF CANADA: Ah, now here's some real nostalgia. I've got to admit that some of the cheese we've seen so far makes a classic wheat-sheaf-and-machine-cog logo bring a tear to my eye. Black instead of red for no good reason, and fitting a circle inside the Canadian maple leaf involves distorting the national logo so much it's now wearing a skirt, but still lovely.

CONSERVATIVE PARTY OF CANADA: The party in power, of course. And they got there with a singularly ugly Möbius-loop capital C with a wonky maple leaf in the middle. This has been their logo for the duration of their existence, but attempting to resolve its two-dimensional logo into a 3-D form in your head will only lead you to head-scratching confusion. Like the past few years of government have.

FIRST PEOPLES NATIONAL PARTY OF CANADA: This logo is fresh out of MS Paint. With - yeesh! - Papyrus. But we forgive them. I looked at their web page to check out the story of the logo. My hunch that it represented Turtle Island was correct, but apparently the red, white, black and yellow colours represent, ahem, the races that now live on Turtle Island. A concept that is surely as insulting to Canadians of southern Indian ancestry as it is to anyone who deplores stereotypes of race, particularly the outdated 'colour' system that just seems ridiculous today.

GREEN PARTY OF CANADA: While it's clear that the Greens spent more money having their logo professionally designed than anyone else did, I'm not sure what it's supposed to represent. It's green, which is a good colour choice, but it looks way too much like BP's logo, which is way too ironic for Canadian politics. It's pretty, but unless it's supposed to be one of those little kids toys that twirl when the wind hits them, I'm at a loss...

LIBERAL PARTY OF CANADA: You gotta love this one. The Official Party of Bilingualism is stuck with a brand name that differs between the two languages by a single accent ague. Giving so much importance to that accent that they've designed their whole logo around it, the Liberals have a bland but professional-looking font, to go with their bland but professional-looking leader, and a maple leaf whose stem just happens to represent all that's silly about Canada's approach to bilingualism.

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF CANADA: There's a high 'WTF' factor to this logo, which appears to be the tail of an airplane flying a Canadian maple leaf. This can't be coincidence, as the party's wordmark replaces one of the two letter As in their name with a maple leaf, just as Canadian Airlines used to with their greater-than-symbol logo, back when they existed. It didn't look any more like an A than a leaf does.

MARIJUANA PARTY: Tough to take this party seriously, really, any more seriously than, say, the Animal Alliance. For awesome names, they're trumped by their Québécois counterpart, the Bloc pot, but it's still an impressively single-minded single-issue party. And the logo is nice. A marijuana leaf, obviously, stuck in a rather dour ring. What does the ring represent? Er, well... I forget.

MARXIST-LENINIST PARTY OF CANADA: Here's some confusion. A good old hammer-and-sickle is even better than the Communist Party's retro logo (all that could trump this would be that Che Guevara picture in a logo), but it's so tiny, being stuck in a star that's stuck in a silvery thing that's stuck in a flower that's stuck in a red box that's trapped by acronyms on all sides. Not a logo that young communists are going to idly doodle on their school textbooks, unfortunately. The Rhinoceros Party has always defined awesomeness. Reincarnated as a party with a url as its name is a nice touch. The rhino in the logo appears to have an exoskeleton, or else body armour. Which is very impressive, if not biologically accurate. I don't believe the camel feet are either. This kids can doodle.

NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY: This is a bit lame, really. Okay, orange and green. The fact that they've been the NDP's colours for ages now almost excuses the fact that they're a god-awful colour combination. Like the Canadian Action Party, you've got the party's initialisms in both languages flanking a maple leaf. A leaf that in this particular case is inexplicably wonky and askew - so, quite appropriate to the party in question, who nevertheless have done more for moustaches than any other party this century.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR PARTY FIRST: The second of three regional parties, with an unfortunately lame logo. The 'traditional' Newfoundland flag is nice. The map on top is, well, lame, but we can deal with it. The "NLF" is getting worse, looking like the letters that sports teams sew onto leather jackets. But the lameness is about to go stratospheric. Next up: the party name with an ellipsis after it, for no clear reason (imagine "Liberals..." or "Conservatives...") and... oh my God... a picture of the sky with clouds. The horror. I mean: the horror...

PEOPLE'S POLITICAL POWER PARTY OF CANADA: This awesome masterclass in alliteration (if only it were active in Pakistan, Panama or... Pennsylvania) sounds like a pretty cool party, and not the religious wackjob case it actually is. Stealing the Heart and Stroke Foundation's logo and sticking some wheat on it might look like a good illustration for an article on healthy eating, but there's just way too much text here. Too much to even bother reading, I'm afraid.

PROGRESSIVE CANADIAN PARTY: When Brian Mulroney's party got sucked into Stephen Harper's they lost their 'progressive' half. Quite literally. That left a nomenclatural vacuum that Sinclair Stevens immediately Hoovered up, replacing the second word with 'Canadian' so that the acronym would remain the same (and creating by far the world's most deceitful name for a right-of-centre party). But intending to evoke a party that died in the 90s means hopelessly retro graphics. This looks like it should be stuck on the tower of some IBM desktop computer.

WESTERN BLOCK PARTY: Saving the best for last, by far. How awesome are you? Let me count the ways: (1) You are a 'Western Canada' equivalent to the Bloc Québécois with a misspelt name to match. (2) Your party sounds like a cool thing to be invited to ('hey, we're going to a Western Block Party; wanna come along?'). (3) You're run by a neo-Nazi crackpot who nobody takes seriously and even the other 'western independence' parties distance themselves from you. (4) You have history's most awesome logo, an obvious pencil sketch by a schoolkid on his notebook of the four western provinces with 'home' scrawled in the centre, clearly begrudgingly offered when Elections Canada would not stop harrassing you to provide a logo for them. WBP, you rule in awesomeness.
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  1. Thanks for these political logos of modern day Canadian parties. Do you have a list of political logos, going back to Canada's Confederation? If not, do you know where one can find them?

  2. No, I don't. These all came from Elections Canada's website. But I don't think parties would have had logos at all back then. 'Branding' a party is a concept from marketing, and it would have developed later - post-war, I'd bet.

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